fresh from the garden

fresh from the garden


Welcome to the ramblings of a fifty-something suburban "farmer"

Hoping that if you should stumble upon this blog my daily musings might bring a little smile to your day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

just another day in paradise

I woke up this morning to the natural symphony of the woods . Squirrels and birds and chipmunks oh my. That's what I love about where we live ,even though we live in the heart of suburbia we have woods around us (granted I had to remove some of them for next years garden,let's not go there). I'm really starting to feel like an earthy crunchy.My day began with green tea and kefir with fresh fruit , then on to making a new batch of kefir along with separating kefir whey to make cheese, followed by soaking some new sprout mix and making sourdough bread from my own starter (was that Gerry Garcia that just walked by?).
It's interesting how Jackie is slowly warming to some of my new dietary choices (notice I said slowly and some). She actually tried raw milk and raw cream ice cream and didn't throw up. While I don't expect her to jump on the nutrient dense foods bandwagon there's more than enough room for everyone.
The bounty of the harvest from the garden is overflowing our need at the moment so I've been sharing with the neighbors and while visiting with one of them it hit me " You can't get any more local than this!!" .I think that will be the catch phrase for my market garden . Suburban Artisan farm ,you can't get any more local than this!! Because I will only have a small operation I think I can sell what I have available directly to my immediate neighbors thereby totally eliminating transportation costs to market from the equation . No transpo means no oil ,smaller footprint and no industrial pesticides or fertilizers means even smaller footprint. This will also mean the absolute freshest products available using only heirloom seeds and organic principles with no GMO. This could actually be a good side effect of living in suburbia. Maybe I could even get to know some of my neighbors (we've only been living here for nineteen years).I was also thinking that I could actually find out what types of products my "market" would like to have available so that I may be able to tailor my layout to provide just what they require. If anyone is reading this please let me know what you think . Did I mention that there's still a whole lotta wood to split?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What a long strange trip it's been

I'm finally home !! As I sit here eating my homemade raw milk kefir with organic granola and fresh fruit and drinking my green tea with raw honey (I told you it was strange)I get to reflect on a rather full and really excellent week. Just before Marc and I left for VT last week I got a call from NOFA to tell me that a spot had opened up in the work exchange program .While it shuffled up the plans a bit it saved me two hundred dollars (always a good thing). The trip up to VT was fairly uneventful for the first two hours or so until we hit a closed bridge up by Stratton ,VT .Of course there were no detour signs so we ending up adding "a few" extra miles to the trip.We did finally arrive at Grout pond after about 4 hours of travel . The place is so far out we actually passed East Podunk rd (really). When we arrived we were greeted by a message board with the rules and large signs welcoming us to "BEAR COUNTRY" . I know Marc can take on insurgents so I asked him if he had any anti- bear training. His response was " Oh yeah ,I can run faster than you" so heart warming . We decided that we would take on the wilderness anyways and unloaded the boat . As we rowed out in search of a campsite we were both awed at just how beautiful this place is .We were surrounded the mountains' majesty ,God's handywork at it's best. From the plumes of wispy clouds on a powder blue background to the rows of neatly grown pine trees the beauty was everywhere. There are only eleven campsites on the pond and of course we got the last one , so we would be the appetizers if the "bear Patrol" decided to go out for people food. Oh well it would add to the experience. We were able to get set up just before dark . A funny thing happened as we were cooking our dinner ,I was going to put on some music but I stopped because I didn't want to disturb the pristine setting . We hiked for about seven hours the next day and encountered one of the most ironic things. In the middle of nowhere we found two of the big "recovery putting people back to work" signs that the Fed wasted two hundred million dollars on to let us know they were on the ball .It was on a foot path that was probably traveled by fifty people a year. Who needs a bridge to nowhere! Did I mention there were no mosquitos?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

and away we go

Well Marc and I are off to the mountains today. It will be great to spend some "quality "time with him. It's been quite a while in fact way too long. Life is so busy,but sometimes you have to adjustments when things come up.Luckily I so much free time it's easy (choke ,choke).But I'm sure it will be worth the sacrifice. I have finalized the plans for the Valley time trade info meeting August 17th at 6 pm at the Wilbraham Public Library.Hope to see all of you there (OK both of you).
We were able to get most of the brush cleared from the trees that we took down recently. What a massive pile ,it's amazing that when it goes through the chipper it will only be a few feet high.We were joking about "boy a pyromaniac would sure come in handy about now". It would make a SERIOUS bonfire for about a minute and a half . My goal is to get all of this cleared so that I can get the bobcat guy here early Sept. I can see next years fields coming together .It's pretty exciting, Suburban Artisan farm is starting to be more than just an idea.Hopefully chickens in Sept.Maybe. Did i mention that enough twigs carried together are still pretty heavy?

Friday, August 6, 2010

What a difference a week makes

Maybe it's been a couple of weeks. Time flies when you are having fun or going senile (you choose). My last post was a bit out of date as I tried to be cool and write it on my new old laptop as I was traveling to NYC on Amtrak. It was really nice to have time to think and rethink as I was writing ,hence the looong post. The problem was that my new old laptop didn't want to play nice with the household wireless connection . So the post was stuck in digital limbo until I got around to hooking a cat 5 cable.

So much has changed since the last post. The deck is up ,the trees are down, my corn can hear (shows how much of a greenhorn I am) I made another cake (a horse's head sans the bed and blood) and Jackie Becca and myself are now movies stars (autographs only nineteen ninety nine,please send cash only self addressed stamped envelope, please allow ten years for delivery).I got a call last Friday night for the three of us to be extras in the making of American was something Jackie said she wanted to do so we went down to Bristol Ct and got to sit on a bus going around the block ten times while they filmed the star of the movie sitting next to me with a thirty pound brass lion (you'll have to see it to figure out what I'm talking about )<<<<<shameless plug!!!!!

Marc is home on leave which is great but there is a down side that I can't discuss (national security and all)if I told you I'd have to kill you. Of course I have no idea if anyone besides my wife is reading this . we are planning a trip to the green mountain national forest next week .Hope I survive.

The date has been set for the introductory meeting for the Valley Time Trade at the Wilbraham public Library. It will be held on Tuesday aug seventeenth at six pm. All are welcome to learn about the idea of time banking and what the VTT has to offer. I was able to trade some of my time that I earned working on Golden oak farm for s deep tissue massage for Jackie,I thought that was pretty cool. Well off to pick up my new log splitter.Is that like the huband who buys his wife a vacuum cleaner for her birthday?

Actually I really like it and it will save me so much work.Did I mention that logs are really really heavy?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Times They Are A Changin

As we come up on the mid- point of the summer there is so much going on it's hard to figure out what to write about. The race is on to get the projects done before the snow flies (that's right, snow). As fast as this July has gone by it will be December before you know it. The deck is almost done (thanks Rick), and the tree guys will have the area for next year's garden cleared in the next few days. Next will be having the bobcat guy here to level out the land a bit and setup the footings for the greenhouse and oven. A little guilt has surfaced about taking down the trees, mind you only a little. As my wife so eloquently put it "And you call yourself an earthy crunchy". Some solace can be found in the fact that I do plan to replant trees there next spring (dwarf peach and cherry trees) as well as creating a permaculture forest garden in the area.

I caught some crap for not recycling some paper, oh well I guess I'm not perfect on this front either. Almost fifty three years of life won't be changed in a few weeks, but I'm doing better than I did a month ago. This Hopefully I'll be able to say the same thing next month. Why is it so hard to break a bad habit and so tough to keep doing a good new one. This transition has been an interesting although not an easy one, the patterns formed over the decades are not easily changed , so many things are done on auto-pilot. At least I've become more concious of the repercusions of the lifestyle I live and am willing to change some of the things that are really part of the problem. I don't know if it will change the world but I think it will change my world. While I don't see myself becoming a democrat anytime soon I do feel like being more involved because I feel both parties have let us down.

The garden is growing really well except for a few kind of strange things going on. My radishes never made radishes just lots o leaves and my corn is deaf ,beautiful stalks and tassles but no ears. We've been eating lettuce, cukes ,wax beans ,a few snow peas and raspberries and the grape tomatoes are starting to come in now . The first bite of a crisp cucumber or the pungent pop of a grape tomato reminds me of why I want to do this, vegetables actually are supposed to taste like something .Someday maybe we'll be able to eat mostly from our own land. Did I mention it's really sunny in tha backyard with those trees down?